Montreux Jazz Festival Announces ‘RESTART’ Poster Competition Winners

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Now that I’m halfway vaccinated, with a Moderna cocktail swimming in my bloodstream, I can see the clouds somewhat parting. While my new "normal" won’t be anything like my old "normal," maybe I can get back to some of the things I love, like eating al fresco, playing croquet, and having youngsters scream in my face atop massive layers of guitar feedback while surrounded by a pile of sweaty humans.

OK, so maybe I won’t be hitting the club anytime soon. But I wouldn’t mind sitting out on a blanket and even taking in some jazz at the park. Unfortunately for me, this summer’s Montreux Jazz Festival is a little beyond my means travel-wise, and Switzerland isn’t a neutral destination for my wallet. However, I can oggle at the posters and ponder the “what if.”

As part of this year’s festivities for the jazz festival, the Montreux organizers and Vaudoise Insurance held a poster competition, and today they’ve announced the winners. With the thematic idea of “RESTART” and a world eager to reopen post-COVID-19 guiding the artists, 1,935 creatives from 54 countries submitted their work. Ten posters were selected and shortlisted by a professional jury from the world of design, and all of the prints will go on sale starting today, with 20% of the commission going to the artists.

But alas, there can only be three winners, and this year, spatial designer Valeria Pernice took home the largest slice of pie. Second and third place went to media and interaction designer Jamy Hermann and illustrator Federico Tramonte respectively.

"Valeria Pernice's piece on the theme of RESTART convinced the jury unanimously by its visual and conceptual effectiveness,” said Stefano Stoll, jury member and director of the Festival Images Vevey, in a press release. “It represents without concessions the emotion of the first cancellation in the history of the Montreux Jazz Festival while energetically marking the promise to celebrate the event in 2021, against all odds. By skilfully turning the press release of this sad April 17, 2020, into a positive message of recovery for 2021, this poster tells what everyone has intimately experienced this year: the desire to the past behind us and the strong will to bring life back."

"At first glance, Jamy Hermann's project shows a dark, mechanical universe of great visual density,” said Alexis Georgacopoulos, jury member and director of the ECAL/Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne, in the same press release. “Then, the shapes stand out, bright, joyful, and vibrant colors, which recall the reflections of the stage lights on the instruments during a concert. The jury was convinced by this aesthetic approach as well as by the technique used – the project being entirely produced in computer-generated graphics."

“The poster designed by Federico Tramonte caught the attention of the jury for its effective use of illustration to create a composition full of poetry and hope,” said Malika Favre, president of the jury, illustrator and creator of the 2017-winning poster for the competition. “The eye is instantly drawn to the pianist and her light movement that evokes a first note in suspension, foretelling a new melody."

Anyway, I guess I’m buying some posters, affixing them to my wall, playing some Kamasi, and waiting just a bit more. You can purchase the prints by going here.

Other work shortlisted by the committee: